|Starting Field, 2011 Indianapolis 500|
Between autograph sessions on Saturday, we attended the public Drivers' Meeting in Tower Terrace. Before the drivers came out and took their seats on the portable grandstand, the Firestone Firehawk was shooting t-shirts up into the stands......people were falling all over themselves trying to get one!
Each of the drivers was presented with a starter's ring, there were other awards presented and announcements made, and when the schedule for the next day's pre-race was announced, it turned out that they'd just copied last year's schedule! Last year the race started at 1 and this year it was at noon. Everyone got a laugh out of that.
I continue to be amazed at the fan-friendliness of the Indy 500. All the events on Saturday were FREE, you just had to know where and when. A FREE Drivers' Meeting invitation can be used as a garage pass on Carb Day after track activities are done, and also on Saturday. You can also get, FREE for the asking, a garage pass for after the race on Race Day. Our camping permit was extremely reasonably priced, considering that one of the first things we saw every morning when we got up was the Pagoda. Food and beverages are in plentiful supply both inside and outside the gates, but you are also permitted to bring in your own food and drinks (no glass, but that's easy enough to do). We saw folks in the infield near where we sat who had full-size canopies and screen houses, lawn chairs, big rolling coolers and even one group with a grill!
I know there are people who have had grandstand seats for several generations, and this was only my second race to attend in person, but it was, and continues to be, one of the most amazing things to think back on - that my kids and I have been to the biggest single-day sporting event in the world not once, but TWICE.
Next post is Race Day and the aftermath, and then I guess I'll have to take the camping permit off the car windshield and go back to blogging about more mundane things.
|Is this a better shot than the one above? I can't tell.|